The Former Houston Wood Preserving Works Site

Protecting Our Shared Environment

Union Pacific knows keeping the community informed about the ongoing monitoring and remediation activities at the former Houston Wood Preserving Works Site (site) is important. We created this website to share information about our ongoing work and to share important updates. Here visitors can access scientific studies and learn more about the site’s history and our plans for additional monitoring and remediation work. As someone who lives and works in the Houston region, I understand the importance of being open and transparent regarding our operations and look forward to continuing this important work on behalf of our community.

Richard Zientek, Senior Director — Public Affairs for Union Pacific

Stay informed on the latest developments.

Environmental Work at the Site

Soil Cleanup

More than 11,000 tons, or 22 million pounds, of creosote-impacted soil was consolidated onsite and an engineered cap was built to prevent exposure

Air Quality Monitoring and Testing

Union Pacific performed multiple air quality monitoring and vapor intrusion investigations and testing to ensure that no exposure pathway to area residents exists.

Groundwater Sampling

Union Pacific conducted significant and widespread sampling of 120 groundwater monitoring wells both in and outside the site beneath the Greater Fifth Ward area to investigate for potential contamination.

Continued Cleanup, Testing and

Union Pacific continued groundwater testing, creosote removal, and inspections of the remediated areas to ensure protective barrier caps remain in place.

Next Steps

Guided by scientific data collected at the site, Union Pacific has undertaken and overseen a significant cleanup plan to address any historical groundwater and soil issues and to prevent potential exposure to community residents. Union Pacific is seeking to renew its permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to continue this 30-year process through the next phase of our approved plan that includes:

Protective Barrier

Installing a large underground physical barrier wall. This wall is recommended by the EPA as best practice to contain the groundwater contamination and prevent future migration offsite.

Creosote Recovery

Expanding measures to recover creosote at and around the site by installing additional recovery wells and utilizing a trailer-mounted vacuum system that can move to different locations.

Groundwater Monitoring

Continuing groundwater monitoring and performing inspections of remediated areas to ensure that adequate protective barriers are in place.

Additional Protective Measures

Implementing additional protective measures to ensure the continued safety of the surrounding community, including the recovery and removal of creosote from impacted groundwater.

Continued Stakeholder Input

Continuing to regularly engage and seek input from neighbors, area residents and other stakeholders to inform our efforts.

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